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2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
People, Palates, and Places: An Exploration of Urban, Suburban, and Rural Local Food Perceptions in the Mountain South

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Emerging research suggests that urban and rural areas experience food systems, local food access, and food deserts in different ways. The purpose of this research study was to investigate how perceptions of local foods vary across urban, suburban, and rural areas in the Appalachian region of North and South Carolina. The study utilized a cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 54 adult participants recruited and surveyed after their visits to their local health department and/or social service department.  The instrument was a 10-minute verbal and written questionnaire. Key questions focused on perceptions of local foods and local food movements, shopping habits and decision-making, and desired changes.  Across all regions, over 85% of participants said they would choose the local product over the non-local product when price was the same. A higher proportion of participants in rural areas were very likely to purchase local foods even when they were more expensive than participants from other areas.  When asked what they think of when they hear local foods, the majority of participants reported benefits to the local economy and farmers, as well as knowing where the food comes from.  The findings suggest that people in rural and in urban areas are more likely to have positive attitudes toward local foods compared to those in suburban areas.  This research will inform local foods promotion and will be translated into an educational video based on the findings, incorporating audio recordings and photos from the study.

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Wednesday April 22, 2015 2:20pm - 2:40pm
033 Karpen Hall

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